Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents.
Delayed Falmouth Bridge work set to start this week
The delayed Falmouth Bridge project looks to be on track to start Tuesday.
Crews are scheduled to start chipping away the decayed concrete sidewalks and railings on the 69-year-old Falmouth bridge Tuesday night in a rehab project set to run into November.
The work will start on the northbound side and will be done during the week from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. After work on the northbound side is done, crews will move to the southbound side.
Some of the work will be loud, with jackhammers and other equipment being used to break apart the concrete. VDOT says the bridge will be reduced to one lane while the work is being done and pedestrians will not be able to use the side of the bridge where work is being done.
The Falmouth Bridge is a major thoroughfare in the Fredericksburg area, handling about 30,000 vehicle trips per day. Built in 1943, the bridge is labeled “functionally obsolete,” because it can no longer handle the heavy traffic flow. It also has surpassed the 50-year life cycle set by federal guidelines.
VDOT says the bridge is safe. It passed its inspection in October 2011, but with poor ratings. The bridge was just inspected again last week.
The sidewalks are in bad shape, with reinforcing bars protruding from several sections of the crumbled sidewalks, especially on the southbound city end of the bridge, where a metal plate covers a bad spot. The lampposts were removed years ago because of the deteriorating concrete.
The $383,000 project is supposed to be finished in November.
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